I've been in Phuket a week now... and my 2nd holiday of 2012 is already ending soon.
Just a quick thought I want to share with you.
I love Thailand, and I've had many fantastic holidays here. Love it because you get more bang for your buck, food, drinks, etc are much cheaper here. But people have also called Thailand the land of smiles... and commend the Thais on excellent hospitality and service.
But I've only just come to realise one thing.. it's not really service, it's servitude. It's like they have an innate sense of duty and service... especially towards white people.
It is also a rather sexist (possibly racist?? read my experience below) country.
When we arrived at the airport and booked a taxi, we wheeled our baggage out of the airport
toward the taxis. And immediately... the driver comes forward and takes my fiancé 's bag. Great service eh? No no.. wait a minute? What about my bag?
We both had equal sized bags. In most other non third worldly countries I've been to, I the bell boy, driver, etc always reaches for the woman's bag first, before helping the man out with his.
Of course, my fiancé, being the gentleman that he is, turns to me and takes my bag. It's not a problem. But definitely something to think about...
Then when we arrive at our hotel, I check in while David nips outside for a smoke. While I was filling in the details on a registration sort of form, the receptionist lady stops me abruptly and points out to David (who is outside smoking) and says that HE must fill it in.
I am puzzled. Why can't I fill in my details (because I am a woman or because I am asian)? I then tell her that the credit card used to book this room is under MY name.
And then she says with heavy Thai droning and punctuation, " You ShOw Meee".
So I take out my credit card, she checks and they payment for the room is indeed under my credit card.
And I was given the go ahead to fill the form out. No apologies. Nothing. Wtf man.
Everytime my fiancé or other white men walk past... they bow their heads so fast, their necks might snap.
Of course, this new realisation of mine isn't going to stop me from coming back... it's still a lovely country to visit. But yeah.. I wouldn't really say it's service with a smile, when it's really a sense of servitude. When I see it blatantly happening in front on my eyes, makes me wonder - Why you so like that?
What do you think?
P/s - Last trip we stayed at Royal Phuket Yacht Club in Naiharn, best ever in my opinion. But it's high season now, all the nice places in Niaharn and Kata were fully booked. We're staying at Le Piman on Rawai beach. It's nice. Only 16 Villas and a nice pool. And cheap too (approx $80 + a night). But the pillows SUCK BIG TIME. My neck is so sore. It's like they cut up an old t- shirt into 5 bits, then scrunched those bits and put it in a pillow case. Absolutely NOT kidding. I've been to cheaper hotels in Malaysia and also in Hong Kong recently (on my last night there this month, I stayed in a $80 room in Tsing Yi and pillow was comfy!)
Update: 27 Jan 1.36 pm
I flew back early this morning. Have to say, that other than that first shitty encounter during check in, the hotel staff were very polite to me. So it may have been a one off thing during check in, or it may be they started treating me better as they realised the villa was getting paid through my credit card. Dunnoe. But they were good though...porter even carried my bag on my way out (did they read my post?!).